14. Unfortunate Departure
Legolas had been standing in the shadows watching Faramir and Eowyn under the White Tree. He had come outside looking for her when he heard voices. His heart sank when he saw who it was. He trusted Eowyn but he was still unsure of Faramir. Legolas watched as they exchanged words. They kept at a respectable distance from each other. He was surprised to see that it was Eowyn who approached Faramir, grabbing his hands. It was she who initiated the kiss, however innocent it was. But it was seeing the two laugh together that made his heart break ever so slightly. He watched as they left the courtyard but he stayed. Eowyn had admitted she still loved Faramir. Was this a rekindling of what they once shared? For the first time, Legolas began to second-guess himself. Should he be pursuing a bond with Eowyn? Would she ever really belong to him wholly or was this too much to ask of the Valar? Suddenly he felt a small light of energy begin to dwindle within his soul. I am losing her, he thought and realized without her love he would fade quickly.
Legolas retreated into the shadows. He stayed there a moment longer, pondering his thoughts before he went back inside to look for Eowyn. She would probably be searching for him too. However, to his disappointment, she seemed not to notice his absence. Instead, Eowyn was dancing to a merry tune with Faramir. They looked so happy together, like long lost friends being reunited. Eowyn's smile was ear to ear. Had she ever looked that happy with himself? What were these accursed thoughts plaguing his mind? Never in his long life had he ever felt so vulnerable. Elves did not naturally have these feelings and he did not much like them. Eowyn was his. She told him many times how much she loved him. But if she loves me as she says she does then why does she not bond with me yet, he thought. This was awful to think in such a primitive way. Elves were beyond such thoughts, yet here he was indulging in them.
Suddenly there was a strong hand on his shoulder. Legolas turned to see Gimli behind him and he was glad for the disturbance.
"Now I know you were in deep thought for you did not hear me approach. I think that is the first time anyone has ever snuck up on an Elf before. Tell me, where does your mind wander?" Gimli asked looking at his friend.
Legolas straightened up and changed his demeanor right away before Gimli noticed anything odd about his behavior. "I was just watching Eowyn and Faramir rekindle an old friendship as they danced. It is good to see that they are friends again." he said but Gimli was unconvinced.
"Yes, well," he said suspiciously looking the Elf up and down. Gimli was no fool and saw the anxiety in Legolas' body language. "Would you care to join me in a glass of ale?" he said.
Legolas looked to Eowyn once more. She was still wrapped up in the dance. She never even searched the crowd for him. He looked back to Gimli. "I would prefer some wine." he said and Gimli patted him on the back.
"Now, don't go worrying yourself, lad. It is not very becoming of the Firstborn." Gimli said and Legolas knew of what he was speaking. The Dwarf led Legolas away from the dance floor and to the table that held the wine and ale.
As Legolas turned to leave with Gimli, Eowyn looked over and saw him. She had not noticed him there before. She was having too much fun dancing with Faramir, something they never got to do before. Suddenly, guilt crept into her mind and her stomach began to knot up. She looked to Faramir. "I must get going now. Thank you for the dance."
"The pleasure was all mine." he replied and watched her run off after Legolas. Faramir knew the Elf had been watching them. He saw him standing there and thought he would have intervened, but Legolas did no such thing. He let the couple have their moment, leaving Faramir to wonder why.
Eowyn was on her way to join Legolas but she was stopped. Her help was needed right away. She looked over to where Legolas stood with Gimli. He was talking to his friend and did not see her. She had no time to tell him where she would be. More guilt was creeping into her mind but there was nothing she could do now. She would just have to wait until later to talk to him.
Meanwhile, Legolas was reminiscing with Gimli about their latest journey and the ones they promised to take now that the war was over.
"You will not be disappointed, my Elf friend. The Glittering Caves are a marvelous wonder. Much more I'm sure than that Fangorn Forest you are always speaking of. Those trees made me quite nervous before and I don't expect that anything has changed since." Gimli said before swallowing down a pint of ale in one gulp.
"You know not what you speak of. There is as much wonder in Fangorn as you seem to think there is in your cave." Legolas' words were slightly slurred. It seemed the two companions were becoming quite acquainted with the King's liquor supply. Even with this, the two would not be outdone by each other. Elves were usually very obedient when it came to the consumption of alcohol. But Legolas was in a different frame of mind tonight.
"Come on Legolas." Gimli said noticing Legolas' slurred speech. "I think you could use a breath of fresh air. You know you cannot hold your liquor."
"On the contrary, I believe it is you who cannot hold his liquor." Legolas smiled. "But some fresh air is still a good idea."
The two walked outside onto a veranda. Legolas looked out into the distance to the mountains and a nearby forest. "I miss the trees, Gimli. I have been surrounded by stone for far too long. I am leaving for Mirkwood in a few days as I said I would. But I think I will stay in my home for a while longer than I planned. I will be back in time for Aragorn's coronation along with my new colony."
"Does the Lady Eowyn go with you?" Gimli asked.
"No. Not this time. She has other duties to attend to here in Minas Tirith. Besides, I think it is good that we spend some time apart."
"But I thought you would never leave her side again. What has happened, Legolas? This is a side of you I have never seen before."
Legolas was silent. He had not discussed his feelings with anyone. Gimli was a good friend though and if he could not talk to him then who could he talk to? "I have seen things lately that make me wonder if Eowyn and I are meant to be. I want to bind to her but she is hesitant. I am willing to wait but now I am not sure it will happen at all. I cannot force someone to do something they don't want to do."
"The Lady Eowyn loves you, my friend. She will come around. It's all that Valar talk which scares her. It would scare me too if I thought they would not accept me."
"It's not just that, Gimli. In order for the binding to be complete, she must bare her entire soul to me and mine to hers. She has told me that a part of her still carries a fondness for Faramir. If this is true then we cannot join in the way of the Elves, even with the approval of the Valar. At first, I did not think much of it but tonight, when they were dancing, I saw that spark Eowyn speaks of. They have a connection that may never be broken. I feel like she slips away. Maybe I should let her follow this path. Maybe I was never meant to be with Eowyn."
"Never have I heard such crazy talk coming from an Elf. Eowyn and Faramir are friends and nothing more. They were separated for a time and only now do they catch up. That's all it is." Gimli said trying to reassure his friend.
"That's just it, Gimli. They were torn apart not by their own doing but at the will of someone else." Legolas looked away from the Dwarf. "I felt it, my friend."
"Felt what?" Gimli whispered, afraid of what Legolas was going to say for he too knew about Elves and love.
"When I saw them together, laughing and so happy with each other, I felt the first sign of the fading. If I lose her love, I will not last long. I did not think the fading would take affect so rapidly. It was the sighting of the gulls on the Anduin, Gimli. They awoke in me the sea longing which in turn has increased my ability to fade without Eowyn's love. For the first time, I understand why my father has always been so afraid to lose me. It is his love for me that keeps him held to this world. Without me, he would have faded after my mother's death. Now Eowyn's love does the same for me."
Gimli seemed confused. "How can you fade? You are not bonded to her."
"I don't think I have to be. My love for her is strong and without it I feel I cannot live." Legolas whispered.
"Well," said Gimli, "I think you are making more out of it than you should. And the wine is not helping your judgment. This is not the time to make a hasty decision."
"Perhaps you are right." Legolas said. Then he heard someone approaching. He looked to see Eowyn walking out onto the porch.
"There you are. I have been looking for you all night. Why are you not enjoying the festivities?" she asked. Eowyn walked up to Legolas and wrapped her arms around his waist.
"Aye, Lady Eowyn, we were just clearing our heads after sampling some of the Kings' fine refreshments." Gimli chimed in. "I will leave you two alone for a while." he said and left the couple out on the veranda.
Eowyn reached up and kissed Legolas. He seemed different to her but she could not quite put her finger on it. "Is everything alright, my love?"
"It is now that you are here. I have barely seen you all night." he said.
"I'm sorry. I saw you leaving when I was dancing with Faramir. I followed you but was drawn away as I was needed elsewhere at the moment. I have felt bad ever since. I hope you did not mind if I shared a dance with him." she said flashing him her best pout.
"I would rather have you dancing with me." he said as his arms wrapped around her and held her tight, feeling his strength return immediately.
Just then, the sound of music wafted up into the air and caught their ears. "Legolas of Ithilien, would you care to dance?" she asked.
Legolas smiled and took her hand in his. He led her to the middle of the porch. His hands came to rest upon her hips. Eowyn's arms wrapped behind his neck. They swayed to the music, all the while looking deep into one another's eyes. Legolas forgot all about the things he had discussed with Gimli. This moment was about them now and he let himself melt into it as if time stood still. Maybe the Dwarf was right, too much wine, he thought. Everything seemed right once again now that Eowyn was in his arms. He leaned his head down and kissed her slowly. He felt her grip tighten and knew she thought about no one else but him.
Legolas broke from the kiss and buried his face in her neck. "I love you, meleth nin." he whispered. The heat from his breath set Eowyn's body on fire.
"Let us go now. I have had enough of this feast for one night. Now the only thing I want to feast on is your warm smooth skin." Eowyn said in his ear. "I think I'll start here." she said running her tongue along his delicate tip.
Legolas and Eowyn left and were headed to her room when he stopped her. "Not her, meleth. I must be among the trees on this beautiful starlit evening. I cannot take another night in these stone walls."
They headed for the stables and readied their horses. Eowyn had grabbed a few comfort items knowing they would not come back to the city tonight. Legolas helped her onto her horse before he easily leapt onto his. They rode swiftly out towards woods. It was a short ride and Legolas was anxious to be among the trees. When they got there, he looked around and breathed deep the smell of the pines. Relief washed over him and he left behind all the conflict he felt earlier that day.
"I cannot wait to rebuild the forest, meleth nin. I can see it already. There will be talons up high." he said pointing. "And meeting areas and homes for the Elves."
"Will it all be built in the trees?" Eowyn asked.
"Only our homes and some meeting chambers. There will also be dwellings on the ground. The dining hall should be in a glen." he said turning to Eowyn. "It will be a place for all. We will have roofed houses for Men, talans for the Elves and I will look for caves for when Gimli visits. There will be a little bit of Middle Earth there for all who visit. They will feel at home in North Ithilien. But the most important home will be ours. You are my inspiration for all of this meleth."
Eowyn smiled. "It has always been a dream of mine to live amongst nature. Will we live in the trees in a talan?"
"I will build our home wherever you wish to dwell. If it is a talan you want then I will build the most extravagant home an Elf has ever seen." Legolas said taking her hand and pulling her along. "And there will be a garden, your garden. I will even bring in plants from Rohan, if it will please you. It will be yours to do with as you see fit."
"Oh Legolas, I can see it already. It will be the most beautiful and inviting forest in all of Middle Earth. I cannot wait to see it finished." she said wrapping her arms around his waist. They embraced one another under the night sky. The stars were out and Legolas fell into a fey mood. He looked up naming the different constellations. Eowyn melted in his arms at the soothing lull of his voice when he spoke Elvish. Then they walked a little further into the forest.
Eowyn thought parts of this area seemed familiar, but she quickly averted her mind when Legolas began biting her neck and collarbone. They were in a part of the forest where the trees were closer together. Eowyn escaped from Legolas' hold and darted behind one of the trees. Legolas smiled impishly. He would play her game. He jumped to where she stood but Eowyn moved just as quickly and was behind another tree, close to a rocky wall. Legolas let her get away and she knew it. Again, he dashed towards her but this time she let him catch her. He pinned her up against the vine-covered wall and ravished her neck in soft kisses. She leaned her head to the side giving him more access. His hands caressed her breasts and he felt her nipples harden through the light material of her dress. Then they kissed and sparks seemed to ignite behind their eyes. Their tongues played wildly and Eowyn drew in his lip, pulling ever so gently with her teeth. Legolas' hands found the clasp at the back of her dress and released it letting the silky garment fall below her shoulders, exposing her breasts. He leaned down and drew her into his warm mouth, his tongue flicking over her erect nipple. Eowyn let out a moan as her fingers wrapped around his silken hair. She looked down and watched him as he enjoyed her flesh, the muscles in his jaw moving with every nip and suck.
Legolas broke away from her to undo his tunic but Eowyn was quicker. She undid each mithril hook, deliberately brushing her fingers against his muscled chest. She pushed the garment off his shoulders and looked at his lithe form in the starlight. He seemed to be glowing with an energy which pulsed its way right through Eowyn's body. She was on fire, moistening in her secret place. Then she stepped out of her dress and let it fall to the forest floor.
Legolas watched her as he undid the laces of his grey leggings, running his hand along the waistband. Without taking his eyes off Eowyn's naked form, he bent down and took his boots off and he slid out of his leggings. They stood there taking in the sight of each other before coming together. Their hands roamed over one another's bodies, exploring every inch of flesh. Then Legolas slowly lowered her shivering body to the soft leaf covered ground. Legolas climbed on top of her resting at her entrance. Eowyn wrapped her legs around his waist. She inhaled deep as he entered her passage, filling her completely. She moaned in a low primal tone, which Legolas knew all too well. She would not last long, at least this first time. He slowed his rhythm so as not to let her climax too soon. He would keep her on the edge for as long as his own body would allow.
"This place, this starlit evening, our love… it all feels so right. I want you forever, meleth nin. Please let us bond tonight. It will be our new beginning in our new home. I need you, Eowyn. I need to feel your soul wrapped around mine. I have waited so long." Legolas begged. His patience was running thin.
Eowyn looked into his stormy eyes as he slid in and out of her body. He was the most beautiful creature she had ever known. She could be his forever. The dark impish look in his eyes and the magic of the stars proved to be too much. There would be no turning back now. She would give him her soul. "Yes Legolas, my love. I want to be your wife and bind my soul to yours. Show me the way of the Elves. Make me your eternal love."
They made love and Legolas spoke the most beautiful elvish words Eowyn had ever heard. As he did, she saw a glow like that of the stars begin to radiate from his body, which hovered above hers. All the while, her body responded with an intense heat. Was this her own aura she was feeling?
"I see it, Legolas. I think I see your soul. I love you so much. I… I…"
Then as suddenly as it began, it came to a crashing halt. Legolas' glow disappeared as he looked away from her. Eowyn's body was still responding and writhing beneath him, even after he stopped what he was doing. She was so close to climax. Why did he stop? Legolas withdrew from her body but remained on top of her. He was looking out into the darkness. The expression on his face was not that of someone making love but that of someone listening intently, like a small animal concentrating on the sound of a predator approaching. Eowyn regained her senses.
"What it, Legolas? What is happening?" she whispered.
"Someone or something approaches from the East. The footfalls are too heavy to be that of a man and there is a rancid odor far off." He lifted himself from Eowyn, crouching on the ground. "Orcs!" he said in a loud whisper. "Quickly, grab your clothes. We do not have enough time to get to the horses. We'll have to find a place to hide here." He made a clicking sound with his tongue and Eowyn heard the horses run off into the distance.
She picked up their clothes and huddled against the wall. As she backed up, she suddenly fell backwards into an opening of some sort. Then she realized why this place seemed familiar. Faramir brought her to this place. This was the cave, Faramir's hiding place.
"Legolas," she yelled in a soft voice so as not to make too much noise. "We can hide in here." she said gesturing for him to follow. Legolas did and they were suddenly inside a cave. It was very dark but Legolas could see better than Eowyn in the blackness.
"The cave goes further back a bit. This is only the entryway. But I cannot see so well in the dark."
"Let me be your eyes, meleth." Legolas said taking Eowyn by the hand and leading her on. They stepped into a much larger room. There was moonlight coming in from somewhere above. The walls glittered with tiny lights all around them. Legolas took a moment to examine it.
"Mithril." he said rather surprised and looked back to where they just came from. His elven hearing was picking up the sound of clumsy footsteps and sniffing from outside the cave. "They are just outside now. We must be very quiet." he said looking at Eowyn.
"There is another chamber on the other side. Maybe we should be as far away from the entrance as possible." Eowyn walked to the far side of the cave hall and disappeared into another doorway. Legolas stood where he was another moment, listening. It seemed like the Orcs were leaving. Then he went to where Eowyn retreated. He could not help but wonder how she knew of the layout of this place.
The third chamber was much smaller. There was an old bed made of hay and a makeshift table. Someone had been here but not for a very long time by the looks of it. "How do you know this place?" he asked Eowyn who had a desolate look upon her face.
"I didn't know where we were until I fell backwards into the opening. I have been here before. This is Faramir's childhood hideout. He brought me here once long ago. Back then I had no idea where it was." she said dipping into her past.
Legolas looked at her with confusion. "You have been here?"
"Yes. This is the place Faramir brought me when we… when I… gave myself to him. I was the only other person that knew of this cave. The Dwarves mined here long ago. That is why you see mithril. Faramir stumbled upon it in his youth just as I have now."
Legolas looked down at the bed and suddenly felt very uncomfortable. This was the very bed where Faramir made love to Eowyn, taking her virginity. What were the odds of them finding this place tonight? Legolas felt as if this was a sort of sign from a higher power. Of all nights, why was it tonight that they discovered this place? They were about to become bound to each other when the Orcs came along and now they were in this place from Eowyn's past.
The couple were dressing when Eowyn asked, "Do you think they are gone yet?"
"They have picked up our scent but they did not find the entrance to the cave. They will prowl around a little longer but I think they will leave soon. The horses will be safe. I sent them away." Then Legolas looked back to Eowyn. His face had changed. He was not listening for Orcs nor was he worried for their safety. He looked as though he had been stabbed in the heart. Eowyn knew why. It was this place and what it represented. She could see him beginning to have doubts about their relationship. This was just too big of a sign. Being an Elf, Eowyn knew he would take it more literally. The Valar seemed to speak to the Firstborn in a very odd way.
Legolas could not look at Eowyn. "This is where your life with Faramir was to begin."
"No, it wasn't like that. I was being forced to marry someone I did not love and I could not allow my first time to happen that way."
Legolas sat down on the floor. "Because you loved Faramir. So you gave yourself to him. And were you still to marry Boromir the next day?"
"Well, yes. But I could not go through with it. That is when Faramir and I confronted Denethor. We admitted our love for one another to him."
"As I said, you were to start a new life with Faramir." Legolas said looking at the ground. "This place signifies unfinished business. You did not leave Faramir nor did he leave you. It was against your own free will that you were separated. False information kept you apart. Evil intervened where fate was supposed to rule. It is unfinished. This is no mere coincidence that we stumbled upon this place. You were meant to find it again. But something deep within my being tells me I am not the one you were meant to find it with."
"Legolas, what are you saying? You are scaring me. Please tell me what this is about." Eowyn begged. She felt her heart sink to the pit of her stomach.
"It was no mistake that the Orcs showed up when they did. They should have found us in this cave but somehow they did not, by some divine intervention. We were being stopped. The Valar will not bless this union and this cave gives me my answer as to why. You were meant to be with Faramir. I saw you in the courtyard tonight. I saw how happy you seemed together. I witnessed how joyfully you danced with him. I did not want to admit it at the time. Even tried to drown my sorrow with the wine. But now, there is no other explanation."
Eowyn had to sit down. She could not believe what she was hearing. Only moments ago they were about to join as husband and wife. Now Legolas was telling her to go back to Faramir. It was absurd and she felt anger rise from within.
"I never expected this kind of behavior from you. I have only shown my deepest love for you. I agreed to bind to you and now you tell me to pursue Faramir? Do you take me for a fool? It is over between Faramir and me. It has been for a long time. We have talked and agreed to remain friends. I have moved on with my life. I have moved on with you, Legolas. Now you tell me you no longer love me or want me. What has happened to you? It's as if you're under some sort of spell." Eowyn said beginning to cry. Her heart was ripping into a million pieces.
"I never said I didn't love you. I will always love you. I will always want you. That is my burden to bare now. But your path lies in a different direction and I'm afraid I was the cause of you losing your way."
Legolas stood up and walked over to Eowyn. She turned her back to him but he laid his hands on her shoulders. "Please meleth, do not turn away from me. I need you to understand."
Eowyn turned to Legolas. "Do not call me meleth any more. If this is over between us, then I am no longer your meleth."
"You will always be that to me. You have made me feel love as I have never felt before. Please know that I will always be here for you. Somehow I think our paths will cross again, when you need me most, and I will be there with open arms, open mind and open heart."
Legolas wiped the tears from Eowyn's face. She could not look at him but he lifted her chin anyways. He kissed her ever so gently and Eowyn knew that every hope and dream she shared with this Elf would be gone with the kiss. She did not want to admit it, but deep down in that place where she buried her feelings for Faramir, she knew Legolas was right. She could never completely give him all of her love. A flame still burned in the hope of being with Faramir again some day.
Legolas checked to make sure the forest was free of the Orcs. There was no sign of them. The oddest thing was that there was no trace of them being there at all, no footprints, no broken branches from their passing, no lingering odor. Legolas wondered if they had ever really been there or were they just a vision created by the Valar, the latter being the more obvious to the Elf. They mounted the horses and rode back to the city in complete silence. They did not speak until they were well inside the gate.
"I have decided to leave tomorrow to return to my home. I plan to stay a while and gather a colony to come back to Ithilien with me. I will be back in time for Aragorn's coronation." he said.
"You still mean to follow through with your plans then?"
"Of course, I made a promise to Lord Faramir and I will keep it." He gazed into Eowyn's eyes. He did not want to leave her but he had no other choice. It was time for her to be set back upon her destined path. He would only hinder it if he stayed any longer.
He walked her to her room. Eowyn took off the necklace and handed it back to Legolas. "I can no longer keep this. It is not rightfully mine now."
Legolas looked at the necklace hanging from her hand. "Eowyn I…"
"No, Legolas. I cannot accept this now." She placed it in his hand and opened the door. She spoke once more before entering. "I will always love you Legolas. There is no one like you in all of Middle Earth and I'm glad you were mine if only for a while."
He brushed his fingers along her arm. "You have no idea how much your love means to me. It is my lifeline and I will always love you too, Eowyn." He watched as she disappeared into the dark room and the door closed.
In the morning, Eowyn awoke to a bright sun shining in through her window. It was the most beautiful day yet and it would have been perfect if Legolas were at her side. But he was gone. She figured he left the city just before sunrise. She cried for a while, looking out into the distance from her balcony, hoping to get a glance of Legolas riding out but she saw nothing. Her Elf was not hers any longer. She was alone again.
She walked back inside and noticed something on the table. It was the necklace. Beside it was a note. It was written in her own language and she realized she never knew Legolas could write anything but elvish runes. She read the note: 'My dearest Eowyn, Please keep this as a token of our love. You are my hearts desire and will be for always. Forever yours in love, Legolas.'
She picked up the necklace, folded it inside the note and put it away in her keepsake chest. This stirred up a new range of emotions. Being a Shieldmaiden, she did not cry for very long. Eowyn got up, dressed and made her way to the dining hall. Suddenly, as she walked along, she noticed she was not alone. She turned to find Faramir coming up from behind. She slowed down so he could catch up to her. Today Eowyn saw Faramir in a new light. As sad as she was to lose Legolas, something made her look differently at this man. He looked very dignified and confident and there was a fiery regard in his eyes. He was the Lord of Ithilien now and the regality that emanated from him was contagious. Eowyn smiled at him and Faramir's whole face lit up.
"Good morning, Eowyn. Would you and Legolas care to join me for breakfast?" he said rather cheerfully.
"Um, well, I would like that very much but Legolas won't be joining us. He has left for Mirkwood." she said and Faramir sensed something was not right by the redness of her eyes. She had been crying but he did not pursue her about it. He merely smiled and held his arm out for her to take.
"Well, I will not let the lady eat alone then. Come, there is a lovely spread waiting for us. We better hurry though." he said then leaned to her ear and whispered. "I hear the hobbits are all out of the healing house and will be there. If were not quick enough, there won't be anything left."
Eowyn giggled and took his arm, letting him lead her down the hall. Then she thought how Faramir always seemed to be there at the right moments. Today more than anything, she would need his friendship and his company.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.